How Getting Healthy Over 40 can Help Reduce Your Risk of Certain Diseases

Are you over 40, overweight and maybe feeling like you’re lacking energy most of the time? While there could be no underlying issue whatsoever, you could also be on the brink of a serious health concern. It’s important to visit your doctor right away for preliminary tests to determine if you may be at risk for heart disease or a gastrointestinal condition. Here are a few things that you can do now to help prevent an unwanted medical concern from creeping up on you unexpectedly.

Get Help for Addiction

Have you been dealing with chronic pain or acute pain that has lead to overuse of prescribed drugs or street drugs? Now that you’re over 40, not only can addiction affect your personal and social life, it can also affect your health and damage vital organs. Your liver is one of the organs that can be affected by excessive use of alcohol, prescription pills and heavy drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. Developing liver disease can be devastating and can happen quickly, especially if your liver is already in a fragile state or has experienced significant damage in the past. Prescription drug rehab can help with curbing cravings and treating any medical complications that may arise. You’ll need more than just a session at rehab to truly get better. It will take support from your family and friends and moving into a more positive environment to avoid triggers and not fall into using again. A sober living house may be a good option. There, you’ll be able to focus on your sobriety, talk with other house guests and receive personalized therapy.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Being over the age 40 can bring about thoughts of an uncertain future, especially if you’re dealing with a divorce or other unforeseen life event. This can rapidly lead to depression and stress. Therefore, it’s important to take care of your mental well being. Being in the best shape of your life can help make coping more manageable, but it might not help completely. If you have thoughts of suicide or depression, be sure to seek help as soon as possible. A good start is with your primary care physician. From there, your doctor will be able to refer to you a specialized counselor or psychologist who specializes in depression. This could be beneficial because you will get both immediate and long-term help regarding your situation and exactly how depression or other forms of mental illness affect you.

Diet Changes

Staying fit and trim after 40 can be difficult. Unless you have a high metabolism, you don’t have to worry about gaining weight, but you’ll still want to choose healthy foods to keep cholesterol levels in check. Following a healthy diet derived from the main food groups is the best way to keep your body on the inside and outside in great shape. This includes:

  • *Whole grains found in bread and certain cereals.
  • *Low-fat dairy products such as yogurt and cheese.
  • *Lean meats and proteins.
  • *A variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • *Healthy fats including olive oil.

Following a good diet will reduce your risk for developing diabetes and certain problems with your intestinal tract as well as gallbladder issues. Ask your doctor about any food allergies or intolerances that you may have. This can help prevent triggers that could bring on a gallbladder attack or other concerns such as indigestion or heartburn. Consider healthy alternatives such as vitamins and organic supplements to help improve your diet and health.

Help With Smoking 

Do you smoke? The older you are, the more you’re at a higher risk for certain types of lung disease, as well as cancers. Smoking increases that risk. If you smoke, you may need help with stopping. Going cold turkey works for some people but its’ not for everyone. Speak with your doctor about setting up an appointment to learn the tools you’ll need to quit smoking. Your doctor may also recommend a heart health screening or a cancer screening to make sure that your body is healthy and hasn’t been affected by your smoking habit.

It’s important to take care of yourself, but especially over the age of 40. To live a long and healthy life, see your doctor, stay in shape and learn the ways to take care of every facet of your daily living.